Sheet masks are a fantastic way to spoil yourself, scare flatmates who don’t expect you to walk around in a mask, and try inexpensive products.
If you want to try a certain brand or are completely new to Korean skincare, they’re a great place to start. It’s one thing to spend 30+ dollars on a toner only to realise it doesn’t work with your skin, and another to spend 1.50 on trying a mask.
Beyond that they’re cheap, what are the benefits?
Easy to bring with you when you travel (and given what airplane air does to skin, you might need it), they come in various forms so if you want a mask that makes you look like a panda for 20 minutes you can fulfil that weird dream of yours, they’re easy to use, work with any skincare routine, and there’s a mask for almost any skin issue out there. It’s also convenient for those who can’t have an elaborate skin care routine since these masks should only be used a few times a week at most. I typically use them once a week but you can use them more or less often than that.
Instead of simply reviewing a mask, I thought I’d share my 5 Favourite Kinds of Sheet Masks (you know in case you missed the title). It’s not necessarily about the brand, but more about the featured ingredient. So, here we go.
1. Shea Butter – a classic skincare ingredient that is great for moisturising. It’s used globally as a feature ingredient and it works really well as a sheet mask. It smells good, works with most skin types, and is easy to find. If you want to try a mask with an ingredient that doesn’t feel too alien, shea butter is a good place to start.
2. Red Wine – Surprisingly, the red wine mask I use doesn’t contain alcohol. Yes, it is a bit gimmicky, but my skin has always felt really good after I’ve used a red wine mask. It also makes you feel a bit like Cersei Lannister but in a good way. Doing a spa night with a group of friends? Try red wine.
3. Snail – Ok, stay with me. Snail mucus is one of the star ingredients in Korean skincare and has been for years. Out of all the masks I’ve tried, the snail ones yield the best results. It just sounds yucky. But if you spend a second thinking about what eggs actually are, they’re a bit yucky too. The mucus is gathered without harming the snails, so whilst it’s not a vegan mask, it’s vegetarian.
4. Aloe vera – another classic ingredient. You probably know that aloe vera is great for soothing sunburnt skin. It’s also great for tight skin or skin that is just… upset. When I was recovering from an allergic reaction, this was the mask I used. This is the mask you use when you just need to tell your skin that everything will be alright.
5 Rice. Rice water is not an uncommon feature in skincare and it is a gentle way of making your skin look radiant. It’s good for sensitive skin, especially if the skin looks dull or tired, and it is also a good go-to mask for when your skin doesn’t have any major issues and you just want to spoil yourself. This is the ingredient I fall back on when I don’t know what else to use.
Brands: The Face Shop, Innisfree, TonyMoly. Almost every Korean brand will have some sort of sheet mask, but the ones I’ve listed here are brands I’ve found to be very affordable and easy to use. They also come with instructions and ingredient lists in English, which is helpful.
Keep an eye out for: alcohol. If your skin is red or inflamed, do NOT use a mask with alcohol in it. However, if you usually can’t use products with alcohol in them you might still be able to use sheet masks since they only stay on your skin for 10-30 minutes.